An online racing game with fast cars and cops hardly sounds like a Need for Speed reboot.
The new Need for Speed game comes after a rare one-year break for EA, and it’s coming from Ghost Games, the makers of the previous franchise title, 2013’s Need for Speed: Rivals. Ghost Games’ general manager Marcus Nilsson said that the studio took time off to reevaluate what the franchise means to fans. The game, which is simply titled Need for Speed for now, will launch this Fall on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and will be shown for the first time at the 2015 E3 Expo.
Need for Speed will be released on November 3, 2015.
The Swedish studio kept the open-world gameplay of Rivals as well as the fast-paced racing and the police car pursuit themes of the previous games. The changes for this reboot have more to do with refocusing and organization of gameplay than anything else. Ghost defined the five core themes of the series and made each its own story thread. Players are free to move between these five threads, and each lets them collect reputation to become an icon for that respective field.
Speed is the first of these threads, and has players focusing on top speed achievements in races. The faster they are, the quicker they’ll work up the ranks toward becoming an icon. Similarly, the Outlaw thread has players speeding past cops, with rewards going to those that mess with and then escape law enforcement on the road. And the Crew thread rewards those that gather friends and play through cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. Nilsson says that Ghost is hoping to innovate in the multiplayer space through this thread.
The final two threads focus on the customization aspects of Need for Speed. The Style thread has players diving into automobile customizations with the goal of expression through driving. The Build thread is a new theme to the franchise. Its story focuses on searching for perfection in looks, sound, and drive, and Nilsson says that it features the deepest systems they’ve put into a game.
This all takes place in a West Coast-inspired city called Ventura Bay, where urban car culture is big, and racing is a way of life. The focus is on night racing, with the setting changing from dusk to dawn during events. Nilsson says that high production values are a focus for this next game, and that an increased understanding of the current generation of consoles has the team at Ghost pushing visual quality further than ever before. He says that Need for Speed’s world is roughly double the size of Rivals’ world.
Details are still light on Need for Speed as it’s still under development. Only some hands-on time will tell if this reboot is truly different from its predecessors.